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Othal Wallace trial in police officer Jason Raynor’s killing rescheduled for July

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Othal Wallace sits with his attorneys Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, for a case-management hearing before Judge Raul Zambrano at the S. James Foxman Justice Center in Daytona Beach.

The murder trial for Othal Wallace, the man accused of killing Daytona Beach Police Officer Jason Raynor, has been pushed back to July 31.

The trial was originally scheduled to start April 3 with jury selection.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Wallace, who was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer in Raynor’s death in 2021.

During a hearing on Dec. 28, Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano reset the trial for July 31 when attorneys will begin to pick a jury.

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Wallace‘s attorneys also have withdrawn their request for records seeking the addresses or locations of everyone who donated to a GoFundMe fundraiser for Raynor.

Defense attorney Terry Shoemaker had filed a notice on Dec. 12 that he would subpoena records from Cogency Global Inc./GoFundMe in Sacramento, California.

The subpoena would seek “Any and all information which would demonstrate the address, location or other geographical information related to the donors to the ‘Daytona Beach Officer Jason Raynor Recovery Fund,'” according to the notice.

Shoemaker wrote in a previous email to The News-Journal that the information had to do with a possible change of venue.

The fund raised $388,915 from more than 5,000 donationsaccording to its GoFundMe page.

On Dec. 19, Assistant State Attorney Andrew Urbanak filed a motion objecting to Shoemaker’s notice and requested a hearing on the matter. Urbanak’s motion did not give a reason for the objection.

Shoemaker withdrew his request for the GoFundMe records Jan. 3.

Shoemaker wrote in an email on Monday that the defense withdrew the request because “we were able to find out what we needed without doing (a) third-party subpoena.”

Asked whether that meant the defense would obtain the addresses and locations another way, Shoemaker wrote: “We have everything we need in order to move forward.”

Shoemaker wrote that the trial date had been moved due to a number of factors, the biggest being that defense attorney Garry Wood was not available until then.

The State Attorney’s Office had not yet responded to The News-Journal about the change in trial date or the GoFundMe development.

Zambrano also ruled on some motions during the December hearing.

Zambrano held in abeyance until necessary a decision at jury selection on whether he would grant additional peremptory challenges. A peremptory challenge allows an attorney to dismiss a potential juror without giving a reason.

Zambrano also denied defense arguments to declare unconstitutional three aggravators: cold, calculated and premeditated; heinous, atrocious and cruel; and hindering the lawful exercise of government functions or enforcement of laws.

The aggravators were among those listed by prosecutors in their notice of intent to seek the death penalty. Jurors must find that prosecutors have proven at least one aggravator before they can consider whether to recommend that Wallace be sentenced to death.

Among other actions, Zambrano also granted a motion to require the state to first provide victim impact statements outside the presence of the jury.

Officer Jason Raynor’s shooting

Raynor was patrolling in an area of ​​Daytona Beach on June 23, 2021, because residents had complained about criminal activity.

Wallace was sitting in a car outside an apartment building at 133 Kingston Ave., where he was living with his girlfriend and their children, according to reports.

Raynor walked up to Wallace and asked him if he lived there, body camera video showed. Wallace stood up out of the car and Raynor told him to sit back down, the video showed.

After Raynor told Wallace to sit down, the video became shaky and then ended.

Police said Wallace shot Raynor in the head. Raynor’s gun was found still in its holster.

Wallace was arrested on June 26, 2021, when a task force found him hiding in a treehouse in DeKalb County, Georgianear Atlanta.

Raynor died 55 days later on Aug. 17, 2021.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Othal Wallace trial in Daytona Beach officer’s killing reset for July